Director Werner Herzog has made a name for himself documenting some sad and disturbing stories, such as men being eaten alive by bears, people waiting to be killed by an erupting volcano and child soldiers fighting in Nicaragua. But in person, Herzog is not all doom and gloom.
For example, while being interviewed at KQED Monday, Herzog gave a touching response to a question about Berkeley-based documentary filmmaker Les Blank, who died back in 2013.
"Frankly speaking, I do not feel that he has passed away. His films are so lively, and I speak of Blank in present terms," Herzog said. "He's so vivid, so alive, I have only understood it acoustically that he has passed away -- it has not really entered my heart."
Blank made two well-known documentaries about Herzog, both about the director achieving great feats as part of his work: Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, about the German director making good on a bet and eating his shoe over five hours at Chez Panisse; and Burden of Dreams, about the making of Herzog's epic feature Fitzcarraldo where a wealthy rubber magnate pushes a steamship over a steep hill in the jungles of Peru.
The entire interview, captured by KQED Arts in a Facebook Live video, includes even more Bay Area-based stories, like the time that Herzog visited his longtime friend, actor Klaus Kinski, in his cabin in the woods of Lagunitas.